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Meet Our Partner: POPS…

Hi, my name is Stephen Sinnott. As the Operations Manager at POPS, I am responsible for overseeing our day-to-day operation and the delivery of POPS’ community-based services in Merseyside and Manchester, and POPS’ Family services in six of the eleven prisons in which POPS works.

I have been working with POPS for 10 years having graduated with a degree in Law and Criminology. I started as a family support worker in Manchester Magistrates court, then transferred to our family support team, moving on to work with families of 18 – 25 year old young adult offenders.

For three years, I’ve managed a range of POPS’ services, using my experience to develop our staff and services. More recently, I was given the exciting opportunity to work alongside Merseyside VRP to embed support for offenders and /or prisoners’ families, and input into their strategy.

About POPS

Partners of Prisoners Family Support (POPS) is a charity established in 1988 by prisoners' families. Since then, POPS has specialised in providing practical advice, interventions and emotional support for children and families who have a loved one in the criminal justice system.

Ensuring offenders’ families have access to emotional support, timely and accurate information is the key to equipping families to build resilience and avert the potential for breakdown in the family relationships.

Families feel that POPS understands the challenges and stigma they face, which is critical to engaging with individuals. This facilitates a relationship of trust, which enables POPS’ staff to work with the family to identify issues and develop solutions. POPS works alongside a range of statutory and none statutory agencies, guiding and supporting individuals to engage effectively with specialist support they may need, e.g. Mental Health Services, Children/Adult Services.

From June 2020, Merseyside VRP has funded us to provide community-based family support for families across the Merseyside area. We work alongside Merseyside CRC, National Probation Service and other partner agencies to provide advice and support for families at a number of stages of the criminal justice system.

Through the VRP-funded programme, POPS has been able to integrate our family support work in the prisons with our community-based offer. This provides offenders’ families with access to seamless support prior to, during, and post sentence, and are included as part of the resettlement planning.

POPS’ family support offer includes:

  • Support for families at court – to provide advice through the court process and offer follow-on support at the point of sentencing.
  • Engagement with families to prepare for the release of their loved one.
  • Continued support for families post release through the resettlement process.
  • Support for families with a loved one on license or serving a community sentence.

If you would like to know more about POPS or if you work with offenders and families who you feel would benefit from this specialist support, please contact me on stephens@partnersofprisoners.co.uk.

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